20 FACTS About the Anglo

20 FACTS About the AngloSaxon Age
Early Anglo-Saxons lived in
groups called tribes
These tribes had the following levels:
The Leader – chosen for strength. Remained
leader until defeated
The Elders – older tribe members who had
proven themselves in battle.
The Warriors – strongest male members.
Followed the leader without question.
The Women – had some rights, but few
The Philosophy of the Tribe:
“What will be, will be.” Believed strongly
in Fate. They used animal sacrifices to see
“omens.” Very superstitious.
The Meadhall
The meeting place for each tribe was a
building called the meadhall.
Mead was the drink of the warriors.
Mead is a sweet, alcoholic beverage made
of honey, sugar, water, spices, and barley.
Equipment of the Warrior
Sword – steel blade and gold handle
Coat of Mail – chain suit for armor
Helmet – covered the head completely
Spear – ash wood, with a banner
Horse – provided by the leader whenever
Shield – round, usually made of wood
Cultural Influences on England
Ancient Brythons 300 BC – c. 65 AD
Romans – 55 BC – 409 AD
Angles and Saxons – 449 – 1099
Came from Germany
Danes – came from Denmark
Vikings – came from Sweden
Alfred I (871-899)
One of the first leaders to unite all the tribes
Early Anglo-Saxons believed in many gods
and goddesses. Their religion was very
similar the ancient Norse religion.
Woden or Odin – chief god. “Wednesday”
Thunor or Thor – god of thunder and weather.
Burial Rituals
Burial involved god and elements of fire
and water. Body was either placed on a
stand and burned with all posessions, or
placed on a boat with possessions and
pushed out to sea.
In 597 Augustine, a priest from Rome,
brought Christianity to England. The tribes
began to convert. Christianity had a
calming effect on the tribal culture, and
gave the Anglo-Saxons something in
common with the rest of Europe.
An important person in the tribe was called
a bard or scop. They were educated
storytellers, and were treated as honored
guests. Their tales of great warriors
embodied the values of the culture.
Beowulf is the only complete story that
exists today from this culture. It is the story
of a great Swedish warrior who goes to help
the King of the Danes with a terrible
The Anglo-Saxon Chronicles
The only complete history of these early
Anglo-Saxons in existence.
Became the stronghold of faith and
learning. Valuable documents and treasures
were stored there. They were the first
places hit when tribes attacked each other.
The literature of this time was the “folk
epic.” An epic is a long story, written in
poetic form, about a hero who performs
brave deeds. The theme was good versus
evil, and good always won.
Became popular with the scops. Only a few
On earth this warrior is strangely born
Of two dumb creatures, drawn gleaming
Into the world, bright and useful to men.
It is tended, kept, covered by women-Strong and savage, it serves well,
A gentle slave to firm masters
Who mind its measure and feed it fairly
With a careful hand. To these it brings
Warm blessings; to those who let it run
Wild it brings a grim reward.
The Norman Conquest
In 1066, England faces an invasion from
William, Duke of Normandy, on the coast of
France. He kills the last Anglo_Saxon King
in battle and becomes William I of England.
This ends the Anglo-Saxon Age and begins
The Middle Ages.